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Here's what we learned about the Wizards' new rotation in their win against the Pacers

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Head coach Wes Unseld Jr. kept all the pre-season long diverting questions as long as possible about what his preseason roster and rotation would be to open the year. That made Wednesday night a big reveal, as he had no choice but to showcase it all in his first regular season game.

While Corey Kispert’s ankle injury may have confused the bench a bit, we’ve learned a lot about what Unseld Jr. plans to move forward with the Wizards’ new-looking roster. Here are some observations from what happened in the Pacers win…

Avdija started at three

The main outcome of this game when it comes to rotation was Unseld Jr.’s decision to start Deni Avdija with a small forward. While there’s reason to believe Will Barton would get a nod, especially given that Avdija missed all four preseason games due to a groin injury, the Wizards ultimately chose Avdija’s bulk and defense. This makes sense, as Avdija’s play could be the perfect glue to connect Monte Morris and Bradley Beal’s backcourt and frontcourts Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis. They need someone who can take on tough defensive duties and Avdija can do it against multiple positions.

Wright and Barton closed

Wizards president Tommy Sheppard said at a pre-season press conference that Delon Wright might not start as a quarterback, but could finish many games because of his defence. This happened quickly as he took the closing minutes instead of the starting Morris. The Wizards didn’t fully close the Pacers in the final frame, but that was the intent. Barton was on the ground as well, and that wasn’t the case with Avdija being left out. He shined in the role of the sixth man with 17 points in 25 minutes. He can be a uniquely good scoring option on the bench.

Davis did not play

Rookie Johnny Davis will have to wait for his NBA debut this time around as it’s DNP-CD (did not play, coach’s decision). Unseld Jr. It rolled in a 10-man rotation and selected Anthony Gill to replace Kispert in the second unit. Gill played the four as Rui Hachimura moved on to the trio with Barton. Unseld Jr. was asked what Davis’ role would be in this week’s practice, and he said, “To be the best version of Johnny and he’s not there yet.” This was a pretty clear sign that Davis had quit his job to break the rotation. He’ll get there, he’ll just have to pay some dues first.

Honey played a lot

With Kuzma (35 minutes) and Porzingis (32 minutes) not far behind, Beal broke the game record at 38 minutes against the Pacers. This was probably because the match was close and Unseld Jr. wanted their best player out there. Also, Beal hasn’t played a real game in eight months, so he has fresh legs. Also, Kispert’s absence affected his depths in his position. Still, he would have thought he might have more breaks in time, given that they may have had more options than they had during his time in Washington. Barton can play there, same as Kispert and Davis has too. Even Wright can fill as 2 bodyguards. So, depth shouldn’t be an issue.

Hachimura and Kuzma

The first player to leave the Wizards bench was Hachimura, and the foursome did not replace Kuzma. They played alongside Morris, Beal, and Porzingis. This was again something that might have to do with Kispert’s absence, but it looks like it’s an appearance we might see more often this year. Unseld Jr. has long had favored rosters with Hachimura and Kuzma, sometimes with Avdija joining them. She loves the interchangeability these guys offer. It will be interesting to see how and when Unseld Jr. can create these pairings.

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